MONCTON, N.B. — Goaltender Adam Gajan earned the shutout as Slovakia blanked Latvia 3-0 on Friday at the world junior hockey championship.
Filip Mesar, a first-round draft pick of the Montreal Canadiens, led the Slovak attack with a goal and an assist, while Alex Ciernik and Simon Nemec, this year's No. 2 overall pick in the NHL draft by the New Jersey Devils, also scored.
Gajan, who plays for the Chippewa Steel of the North American Hockey League, made 28 saves, while Latvia goaltender Patriks Berzins stopped 23 of the 25 shots he faced.
Slovakia's third goal, from Mesar, was scored into an empty net.
With the win, Slovakia moved into a tie with the United States for second place in Group B with two wins and a loss. Finland sits in top spot with two wins and an overtime loss.
Latvia finished in last place in Group B with one point in four games and will face Austria in a best-of-three relegation round that begins in Halifax on Monday.
The Slovaks finish off group play on Saturday against Switzerland.
GERMANY 4 AUSTRIA 2
HALIFAX — Philipp Krening and Roman Kechter each had a goal and an assist to lead Germany to its first win of the tournament, defeating Austria 4-2.
Thomas Heigl and Leon van der Linde also scored for the Germans, who bounced back from an 11-2 loss to Canada on Wednesday. Nikita Quapp made 31 saves.
Ian Scherzer and Jonas Dobnig scored Austria's first two goals of the tournament. Michael Sicher surrendered three goals on 10 shots before being pulled in favour of Thomas Pfarrmaier.
Pfarrmaier stopped 13-of-14 shots for the winless Austrians.
Germany is fourth in Group A with three points in three games and will face Czechia on Saturday to close out the preliminary round. Austria, meanwhile, finished last in the group with zero points in four games.
Regulation wins at the tournament are worth three points, overtime wins are worth two and overtime losses are worth one.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 30, 2022.
The Canadian Press